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Converting Incandescent MagLite to LED

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by 308win, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. 308win

    308win Member

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    I have an older 6 C cell non-focusing MagLite and I would like to know if this will replace the existing bulb as a drop in and is it worth doing to get more battery life and bulb life? Are they reliable?

    TerraLUX TLE-6EX MiniStar5 140 Lumens Extreme LED Replacement Bulb for 4-6 C&D Cell MagLites
     
  2. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    Just replace the batteries annually. I didn't - never flattened a set of D cells in the 2 & 3 D cell Maglites with the LED conversion. I did get to toss out two pretty ones, a 2 & a 3 cell one, when the cells leaked all inside. Their cells were two years old, or less - one set of Ray-o-vacs and one of Duracell. The low current demand lulls you into a false security - they still digest their cases with age. I still have a few - their cells are in ZipLoc bags with them... under my bed. I keep CR123 Lithium battery users, mostly Surefire but also an Olight or two and a Fenix, 'loaded' and at the ready. They are smaller and brighter - and those cells last for 10-11 years shelf life. I've never had one explode, either. If you use them up quickly, C-Zn/alkaline celled flashlights are okay - at least the cells are still widely available. BTW, always buy Surefire CR123's - they are US-made and $2/each or less in 12 piece boxes.

    Stainz
     
  3. mole

    mole Member

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    I can't really answer your question, but...a few years ago I did the LED conversion on the 2 cell maglite I keep in my wife's car. I used the maglite version and it was a vast improvement over the original set up. If you're just wanting a flashlight, one of the smaller, modern LED lights would be a better choice. I originally got the maglite and have it in the door pocket so my wife would whack something if need be, so it was the sturdy aluminum tube that I was after and not light output or battery life. I keep meaning to do the same to the one in my car, but just can't remember.

    John
     
  4. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    I did one for a work flashlight a few years ago. It worked well enough for what I had in it, but a new modern L.E.D. flashlight is only 10 to 15 bucks and will beat it in run time and light output. The only thing I use the mag lite for now is a small club/emergency backup light. My main carry is a sure fire light that I bought 10 years ago, or one of those cheap 10 dollar models I bought at Lowes.
     
  5. 308win

    308win Member

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    Exactly Mole & DoubleJ. My 6 C-cell MagLite will get anyone's attention if used on the collar bone, elbow, knee, or just about anywhere else I can think of. I was just thinking of upgrading the light output/run time.
     
  6. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    The most common causes of cell leakage are either high temperature or allowing the cells to go dead and leaving them too long in that state.

    It has been my experience that dead batteries are far more likely to leak than live ones. Now I check my battery operated devices frequently, and if the batteries are dead and I can't replace them immediately, I go ahead remove them anyway to prevent them from leaking.
     
  7. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    I am looking fwd the the comments also.

    At one time Mag Lite was the only game in town. I have had several and they were a welcome companion and served a needful purpose.

    The problems with mine had to do with faulty, short term switches, fragle bulbs, and an indifference to customer support. The tempermental switches were n't accessable, much less relpacable by the user. Mfgr and distributors didn't care, so the alternative was a new purchase.

    Planned obselence has now petered out.

    MagLight had a great idea, sold it, sat on their haunches, and fell back in it.

    Competition happened. Sounds like the Auto Industry from the 80s. Occasionally we learn but lessons can get expensive.

    salt
     
  8. jdh

    jdh Member

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    I have a 6 D someone was going to throw out because the batteries leaked. It works now an I have less than $5 in it. Take the switch module out. Then you have a straight through open ended tube. Use whatever you have handy to pound or drill the old batts out and a Brake cylinder hone to clean up the inside of the tube. I had to buy the snap ring that keeps the switch module in because I was in a hurry.
     
  9. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    Club that doubles as a flashlight.
     
  10. glistam

    glistam Member

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    I have a 3D and a 4C, and I think I installed that exact model LED in my 4C. However, it was a very new 4C that has a slightly different bulb assembly: It's designed to use a minimalist bulb with two prongs, which stick into a removable base that fits where a full, older style bulb would go. This assembly is more or less interchangeable with the older style incandescent bulb and with the TerraLux replacements in all but one issue: The screw-on locking ring has too small of an opening. However, you're model is older and so it might fit just as it is. The bulbs for these remained almost unchanged for several decades.

    I personally love these LED replacements. Both powerful and more efficient. While I didn't measure formally, the batteries seem to last many times longer. The light also tends to be a bit smoother looking, but having a cooler more bluish tint. I am told that LEDs also are more resistant to impact damage than the incandescent.

    Good luck with yours! I am a bit jealous because 6C are officially discontinued for some time now.
     
  11. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    I dropped LED bulbs in my 3 cell Maglites and never looked back.

    They're plenty bright and much easier on battery life. So much easier that, if you don't use the light enough to replace the batteries periodically (like once a year or so), you ought to get in the habit of replacing them annually or bienially (every 2 years) so battery leakage on old batteries doesn't become an issue.

    I can't imagine that it wouldn't be worthwhile to do the same with a 6 cell Maglite.

    There are, however, LED flashlights out there which put out more light and are smaller. Obviously you won't have the nice heft of a 6 cell Maglite club, though.
     
  12. glistam

    glistam Member

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    That's probably the point. I've been told the C-cell models (especially the now discontinued 6C) are the best ones for this use and that police/security back in the day preferred them to the overly heavy D-Cells which now seem to be the default model.
     
  13. 308win

    308win Member

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    glistam - That is why I have mine. I bought one for my brother 20 years or so ago for Christmas and got one for myself. He wanted the C cell because it was easier to carry. Of course, this was before the super flashlights everyone takes for granted now.
     
  14. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    4 'C' cell barrels are a handy size, accessable, do (or did) work, although short term. The 'C' cell tube is skinner, agile, and batteries come in packs of 4.

    Mag Lites are the 'WeedEater' of flashlights. Both were a good idea, but just didn't seem to follow through.

    salty
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I put Maglite brand LED bulbs in both my 2 & 3 D-cell lights not long after they became available. Also put one in a Mini-Maglite.
    All told, around $50 bucks worth.

    After it was all said & done?
    I wish I had saved my money.

    Other then exceptional battery life?
    I lost most of the beam focusing ability from flood to spot.
    And they are not a whole lot brighter.

    rc
     
  16. DAdams

    DAdams Member

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    I converted a double AA a few years back. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Didn't turn out to be.
    My triple D I keep as a club.
     
  17. conw

    conw Member

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    If you are going to do it, spend 50-100 and go for broke. The commercial kits available probably aren't that great but CPF users have posted mods that allowed them to get 1000+ lumens out of it with some work (that's approximately 1000 times more bright than an incandescent maglite :p).

    Otherwise just get an updated premium or semi premium LED that will fit in a pocket for what it would cost you to do a decent upgrade.
     
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  19. 308win

    308win Member

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    I have talked myself out of this. I will keep the MagLite as is. I have other new flashlights that light up the night, etc. Conveting the MagLite seems like a wast of money.
     
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The $39 buck Malkoff bulb will not be!

    rc
     
  21. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Looks like a darned high quality product. If I had a 6 cell Maglite, I wouldn't hesitate on this, if LED conversion was my goal.

    And at the current prices for batteries, $39 for the bulb isn't a bad deal.
     
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It works in all 3 to 6 cell Maglights.

    I put one of the Malkoff bulbs in my Surefire 6P three years ago and it is incredible.

    rc
     
  23. 308win

    308win Member

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    I don't see anything on the site that will fit a 6 cell C battery light.
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  25. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    I have a Malkoff Devices "bulb" in a Surefire and I have been very happy with it. Tremendously brighter and dramatically extended battery life. The price wasn't super-great but in this case you get what you pay for.
     
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